Welcome to Bommer! This article will help you get up and running in no time with Bommer for Autodesk® Fusion 360™ add-in. Bommer gives us a powerful new way to build and manage your bill of materials (BOM) from within Autodesk® Fusion 360™.
If you haven't already, you can download Bommer for Autodesk® Fusion 360™ from the Autodesk® App Store by clicking here. From that page, you can select the correct operating system, click Download, and then run the downloaded installer to install the add-in.
To launch Bommer, simply launch Fusion 360™ after you've completed the Bommer installation. Bommer is launched automatically with Fusion 360™, and lives as part of the Model workspace.
Before you can start using Bommer, you must register. Click the Register Bommer button in the Bommer toolbar pane, on the Model workspace to open the registration page. Fill out the form and click OK. Bommer will attempt to utilize your Autodesk® account information to make registration easier. We only see your name, email address, and app store user id (we never see your Fusion 360™password, nor do we want to).
Bommer exposes four primary functions within the add-in: Define the data columns in your bill of materials (BOM), edit the data in your BOM, search for vendor info (by vendor part number, present in the part name), and export your BOM to an Excel or CSV file
Define the columns in your BOM
You can use the Settings dialog to define what data you want to capture. To open the Settings dialog, expand BOM in the Model, and select Settings (look for the icon). You’ll be presented with a table where each row represents a property that you can specify for a part or assembly; these properties define are how the BOM is created and generated. The table has the following columns:
- Order - defines the column order for the fields in the BOM exports, and the order that the properties will be arranged on any input screens. The order starts at 1 and is sequential with no duplicates.
- Category - defines the category for the property. Category is used to organize the BOM editing screens, and to deconflict attributes with the same name, e.g. Category: Vendor 1, Name: Vendor and Category: Vendor 2, Name: Vendor. They both have the name Vendor, but are unique because they belong to different categories.
- Property Name - the name of the property. This should be an easy to read and understandable name, e.g Vendor P/N, Make/Buy, Description. You can have duplicate property names as long as the properties belong to different categories.
- Type - the property data type. Properties can be text (any text), numeric (integer), decimal (floating point), multiple choice (one of a set of choices), True/False (checkbox), or Read Only. For multiple choice, you must supply comma separated values (see description below).
- Scope - where the property is stored. Property data can be stored at the component level, or in the top level design. Most data will be stored in the component, but Exclude? (which excludes the part from the BOM) is an example of a property to store at the top level assembly level; this is because you may want to exclude a part from one assembly, but not exclude the part from another assembly.
- Values - only for multiple choice type properties; these are the values that can be selected for this property. Values should be separated with commas, and no spaces, e.g. A,B,C.
- Default Type - defines a way of providing a value for a property, for when the user has not yet entered a value on a component for that property. Defaults can be used to save time by filling in components with sensible initial values. The default type determines whether a constant value will be used, or the value will be pulled from another property in that component.
- Default Value - the value to use as a default, or property name (in the form Category.Name) from which to pull the default value.
You can use the six buttons at the bottom to manipulate this table. Press Add to add a new empty row at the bottom, and press Delete to delete the selected row. Reorder Rows will reorder the rows to match the values in the order column; use this after you assign new order values to straighten out the user interface. Reset to Defaults reverts the property settings back to the defaults shipped with Bommer for Autodesk® Fusion 360™, and Import Settings and Export Settings will let you import or export these settings to a file that can be backed up or shared with other Bommer users.
Bommer ships with a set of properties already defined for you (referred to above as "default properties"). Some of these properties are special within the system; for these properties, you can only change the name and category (you cannot delete or alter the type, scope, or default value information). The others represent a good starting point for your BOM, and can be augmented to meet the needs of your organization.
The following properties are special, and cannot be modified except for their category and name:
- Part Name - Name of the component (from Fusion 360™).
- Exclude? - If true, the part will be excluded from BOM exports.
- Part? - If true, all children of this component will be excluded from the BOM. This is a way of marking a subassembly as the "orderable line item", without having to manually exclude all of the child components.
- Part Number - This property is connected to the built in part number attribute. This value will therefore show up where Fusion 360™ part numbers are used (e.g. in the drawing BOM).
- Description - This property is connected to the built in description attribute. This value will therefore show up where Fusion 360™ descriptions are used.
- Quantity - The counted quantity of a component within the design. This value is computed and, therefore, read-only.
The rest of the properties are intended to be used as follows:
- Make/Buy - A two option multiple choice to indicate if a part is a purchased part or made part.
- Order Quantity - A numerical value that can be used as an override of Quantity (for ordering or other purposes).
- Vendor, Vendor Desc, Vendor P/N, Vendor URL, Vendor Price, Vendor Lot Size, Vendor Stock (Vendor 1 fields) - Properties used to represent vendor data.
As mentioned above, you can add or modify this list (if you wanted to add a second vendor, or add material properties), change the order of properties by changing the values in the Order column, rename properties, or change their data types. When changing the order of properties, you may find it useful to press the Reorder Rows button, though you don't have to in order to save reordered rows. When changing property data types, be aware that if you are changing a property to be True/False or Multiple Choice, you may lose previously entered Text values.
Once you have completed your changes, press OK to save them to disk, or press Cancel to to discard your changes.
Edit the data in your BOM
There are two ways to edit the data in your BOM from within the add-an: the Edit bill of materials table, or the part info form.
Edit bill of materials table
This table displays all of the parts in your BOM. Open this table by pressing on “Bommer” in the Model workspace, and then selecting “Edit bill of materials…” (look for the icon). This icon is also pinned to the Bommer section of the Model workspace by default, for easy access.
The form contains a filter field, an expandable group of settings, and an editable table of components and properties. The table has buttons to let you switch between the different categories defined in the Settings dialog. Each tab has a table that displays a column of data for each property in that category. Each cell of the table will either be a text field (for Text properties), drop down box (for Multiple Choice properties), numerical field (for Number or Decimal properties), non-editable text (for read-only properties), or checkbox (for True/False properties). For each category, the first data column will contain the part name.
By default, the table will display a structured (hierarchical) BOM. The very first column will contain buttons that let you expand and contract levels of the hierarchy. Next to the button is a column that displays the level of the component in the hierarchy, in the form of x.y.z.a... Root components will have an empty level. The very last column, called "Link", will contain a button to open an external, referenced design. Due to limitations within Fusion 360™, you must edit properties for referenced designs in the design itself, and then save a revision for that information to flow to referencing designs. As a result, Bommer restricts editing these components (all properties are treated as read-only properties) and instead presents a link to make opening that design easy.
The form also has a collapsible Settings group, with the following settings:
- Show Root Component - Toggle to show or hide the root component (the top level of the current design) in the table. Note that by default, all properties in the root component except the name can be edited in this table.
- Show Excluded Components - Toggle to show or hide components that have “Excluded?” checked.
- Flatten BOM - Toggle to switch between a hierarchical BOM and a flattened parts lists. This primarily affects how quantities are tallied, and whether components will be duplicated in the table: Hierarchical BOMs will report quantities at the current level of the hierarchy; if a component shows up in multiple areas in the design (for example, the same screw component is used to fasten two different subassemblies), it will show up once in each area or subasssembly. Flattened parts lists will count quantities by component irrespective of a component’s position within the assembly hierarchy, and will only contain one row for each unique component.
- Isolate Selection - Toggle to switch selection behaviors. By default, selecting an item in the tree will focus that item in the table. If this is checked, a selection in the design tree will isolate the corresponding row in the table. Combined with Allow Multiple Selection and Show Isolated Selection Children, you can isolate a subset of components for easier editing.
- Allow Multiple Selection - Only applies when Isolate Selection is checked. Check to select multiple items in the design tree while the dialog box is open. By default, you may only select one item (when you select a new item, the old item is deselected).
- Show Isolated Selection Children - Only applies when Isolate Selection is checked. Check to show all children of selected items (in addition to the selected items).
The text field at the top of the dialog can be used to filter the components in the table. You can type any text into the text box, and it will only show rows that contain that text in some cell (any cell visible in the table).
Once you have completed your edits, press OK to save your changes, or Cancel to discard your changes.
Part info form
The part info form lets you view and edit properties for one part, in a simple form. To open this form, select the part to edit in the tree, expand the Bommer menu in the Model workspace, then click on “Edit part info...” (look for the icon). You can also click on the icon, then select a part in the tree. Similar to the BOM edit table, this form is organized into tabs that correspond with the property categories. Each form will have a edit boxes (for Text), radio buttons (for multiple choice), numerical field (for Number or Decimal properties), non-editable text (for read-only properties), or checkboxes (for true/false), for the various different properties.
Note that just like in the table, referenced components cannot be edited from within a referencing design. As with the table, when you select a referenced component, the part info command will display all information as read-only and present a button to open the design for editing.
Like with the table, once you have completed your edits, press OK to save your changes or Cancel to discard your changes.
Export your BOM
Bommer can export your BOM to an Excel spreadsheet or a CSV file. The process is the same in both cases:
Expand the BOM panel in the Model workspace, and select “Export…” to export to local file (look for the icon).
You’ll be presented with a dialog to to let you configure the export. First, select what type of BOM you want to export. You can export a flat BOM, a hierarchical BOM, or a "Parts Only" BOM (which will only include components where Part? is checked).
Check or uncheck the “Include?” checkbox on fields you wish to include in the export (checked means the property is included). By default, all properties except Exclude and Part? are included.
You can also decide whether or not to include the Root component; include any excluded components; and include components that live under sub-assemblies with Part? set to true.
Once you’re done, press OK. You’ll then see a File Save dialog pop up. You can enter a name and location, select the file type, and press OK.
Help, updates, and program information
You can access this help page in the app by clicking on "Help..." in the Bommer pane (look for the icon), and you can view program information (such as add-in version and company information) by hovering over the "About Bommer for Fusion 360™" menu item (look for the icon).
Reporting problems and requesting features
We would love to hear how you are enjoying Bommer. We even enjoy hearing complaints, and welcome the opportunity to address them. Please send all feedback, problems, complaints, or complements to us by pressing the Contact Us button on this page. Thank you for using Bommer!